Labour must beat the odds to win again, says deputy leadership hopeful

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Scottish Labour’s only remaining MP is pledging to visit every corner of the UK to try to win back support for his party if he becomes deputy leader.

Ian Murray will formally launch his campaign with a commitment to tour the country and speak to disaffected voters and find out why they no longer support Labour.

He will say Labour needs to “beat the odds to win again”.

Mr Murray, who represents Edinburgh South, was left as the only Scottish Labour MP after his party lost out to Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP in last month’s general election..

Meanwhile, in former Labour heartlands in the north of England and Wales, the party lost seats to the Conservatives.

Mr Murray, who was a vocal critic of departing leader Jeremy Corbyn, will argue that for the party to win power again it needs to once again be a “broad church” representing wider political values.

He will say Labour must be a “credible alternative Government, not a party of perpetual opposition”.

Mr Murray is due to launch his deputy leadership campaign at the school he attended in Wester Hailes, where he is expected to say: “Throughout my life, I’ve beaten the odds to succeed.

“And today, the Labour Party needs to beat the odds to win again.

“I want to change our party so that we can win power and transform people’s lives.”

Mr Murray will add: “The Labour Party let down the voters of Britain last year. That can’t ever happen again.

“We must reach out and listen to every corner of this country and every type of person in our country.

“Our party can only win by winning support across the whole of Great Britain and by becoming a broad church once again.

“Central to winning is building coalitions of people with different and varied interests. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole political life.

“And with today’s politics more damaged and fractured than ever before, we have a choice to make.

“Do we try to divide people and set them against each other? Or do we stay true to our Labour values and try to unite them around a common vision and a common purpose? I choose the latter.

“We must become a credible alternative Government, not a party of perpetual opposition.”